Lancashire: 'I Have So Much To Be Thankful For'
A few months of picking strawberries and throwing bales of hay for 10 hours a day cemented Peter Lancashire's love for rowing.
When the pandemic canceled the season and closed campus last year, Peter returned to Victoria, British Columbia, for at-home learning and summer work on a farm.
"I enjoyed the break from rowing, and I liked working outside, but I felt like I'd been living someone else's life," he says.
He returned to Washington Rowing with a renewed determination to succeed - and to lead.
"With rowing, you can only get so far with natural talent. You have to work for it," explains Peter, who competed for Canada in the World Junior Rowing Championships in 2016 and 2017. 'When you put the work in, you get better, get faster.
"And it teaches you about yourself. My freshman year at UW, things weren't going well so I wallowed in misery and blamed others for my problems. Then I had an epiphany: I'm the one responsible for my success. By my junior year, I found extra passion and committed
100 percent to every practice."
His revitalized enthusiasm paid off for Peter and his team. He rowed fifth seat in Washington's 2021 National Championship-winning Varsity Eight.
''The lead-up to the National Championship regatta was really fun," Peter recalls. "We kept getting faster and faster, and some of the last rows we did were magic. One practice in Philadelphia, it was pouring rain, freezing cold, with a terrible headwind. But that was just another February day on Montlake for us. We felt it was our time."
During the final race, "we had a really aggressive start, wanted to take a big margin at 600. We were a length up after first 500 and never gave any sign we'd slip back. The moment it became obvious we'd win was with 700 or 800 to go. Then you get to enjoy the last strokes. It wasn't easy. It hurt a lot. It was great!"
After graduating this fall with a degree in political economy, Peter - who earned a gold medal in the Canadian men's four at the 2021 World Rowing Under-23 Championships - intends to pursue post-grad work in music as he finishes his college career.
"I have one last opportunity to row with my buddies and to appreciate everything Washington has given me. I have so much to be thankful for."
Excerpted from the fall, 2021 edition of SWEEP magazine.